Top 20 Polluted cities in India

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in conjunction with IIT-Delhi recently surveyed 88 industrial clusters around the country, and found 43 “critically polluted” (score above 70 on a 100 point scale) while 32 were “severely polluted” (score 60-70).Lets see the list of critically polluted cities in India…


Pollution score: 88.5/ 100

Ankleshwar in the Bharuch district of Gujarat takes the top spot in the ‘critically polluted places’ with a score of 88.5.

Ankleshwar is known for its industrial township called GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation), which is one of the biggest in Asia. Ankleshwar also has an office of the ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited). Today, Ankleshwar has over 5000 big and small chemical plants. These chemical plants produce products such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, and paint.


Pollution score: 88.09/ 100

Located in the in Valsad district of Gujarat, for Vapi, the cost of growth has been severe: levels of mercury in the city’s groundwater are reportedly 96 times higher than WHO safety levels, and heavy metals are present in the air and the local produce.

The industrial township of Vapi holds its place of importance on the “industrial” map and it is the largest industrial area in Asia in terms of small-scale industries, dominated by chemical industry plants, along with their unfortunate hazards.

Vapi has also been listed in the Top 10 most polluted places in the world by the US-based Blacksmith Institute.


Pollution score: 87.37/ 100

The industrial city of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, has industries that manufacture railway coaches, diesel engines, bicycles, tapestries, glassware, pottery, paint and varnish, heavy chains, etc. Also It has ordinance factory (Muradnagar) & Bharat electronics ltd. for manufacturing defense products.


Pollution score: 83.88/ 100

Chandrapur in Maharashtra is very rich in mineral wealth such as iron ore, limestone and coal and this boon has been its bane. Many cement factories are located in this region. Due to large number of coal mines present around the city, the city is also known as City of Black Gold. The mammoth coal mines in an around the city also contribute to the heavy industrialization of the city.


Pollution score: 83/ 100

This city in Chattisgarh, is the Power Capital of Central India with the NTPC’s Super Thermal Power Plant in Korba is working at 90% Plant Load Factor. There are huge coal reserves in the vicinity, offering cheap pithead power generation opportunities and there is enough water from the State’s largest reservoir of Hasdeo Bango. 84% of India’s coal is in Chhattisgarh and two other States. Korba is also the site of an aluminium facility operated by Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO).


Pollution score: 82.91/ 100

Located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Bhiwadi has around 1,000 tiny, small, medium, large, industries and including MNC industrial units manufacturing various types of products. They include all types of industries like steel, furnace, electronics, engineering, textiles, pharmaceuticals, printing, cables, rolling mills, food processing, herbal care etc.


Pollution score: 82.09/ 100

Angul district is located in the center of the state of Orissa. Even though Angul district is blessed with rich natural resources, it is the hottest district in India where maximum temperature goes up to 50 C during summer. Many blame the Orissa government for destroying the natural greens of the district. And yet the industrialization of the district has not stopped in spite of the public anger for destroying jungles. The state government in its way to setup more and more mines, plants in the district.


Pollution score: 81.79/ 100

This city in Tamil Nadu is considered to be one of the oldest surviving cities in South India. The city, along with its nearby industrial towns has witnessed a consistent industrial growth, followed by the implementation of South Asia’s second railway track between Chennai, Royapuram and Walajah. The Golden Quadrilateral road; has significantly improved the region’s industrial activities. This city is a hub for leather industries, chemical industries as well as automobile and mechanical industries.


Pollution score: 81.73/ 100

Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh is fast emerging as an energy hub of India, especially for electric power and coal. The total installed capacity of all power plants at Singaruli is around ten percent of total installed capacity of India (as of 10 November 2006).


Pollution score: 81.66/ 100

This city in Punjab is also known as the ‘Manchester of India’ because it is the industrial hub of Punjab, Ludhiana has been reputed to be the most polluted city on Punjab. It is home to 8 large integrated knitwear factories, roughly 6,000 small to medium sized knitwear factories, 10 big hosiery yarn mills and 150 small- to medium-sized worsted and woollen yarns mills, factories of bicycles like Hero Cycles, Avon Cycles, and a number of machine tools, sewing machines, generators, diesel engines, tyres & tubes factories.

Industry is the main cause of water and air pollution in the city. Now a sewage treatment plant is being set up at Ludhiana to control pollution of surface water under the Satluj Action Plan.


Pollution score: 79.54/ 100

Najafgarh drain basin in East Delhi (including Anand Parvat, Naraina, Okhala and Wazirpur which are industrial hubs) is in the eleventh place in the over all list. Najafgarh drain basin is also the biggest polluter to Yamuna.


Pollution score: 78.90/ 100

This suburb of Delhi is a major hub for automobile ancillary units, with companies like Escorts, Honda-SIEL and New Holland Tractors operating from the city’s SEZ.


Pollution score: 78.63/ 100

Located in Jharkhand, Dhanbad is also known as the ‘Coal Capital of India’ and is 79th amoung the fastest growing cities of the world. Dhanbad is famous for its coal mines and industrial establishments; it has 112 coal mines with a total produce of 27.5 million tonnes. Many sponge iron factories and ceramic factories are located in the Dhanbad district.


Pollution score: 78.41/ 100

Dombivli as the 14th most polluted city in the country and second in the state of Maharashtra. Dombivli is an industrial township in Thane district of Maharashtra. Any taxi driver can point it out to you from a distance. This small town with a big industrial estate, comprising some 50 chemicals units manufacturing dye intermediaries, is perpetually engulfed in smog. For the 100,000 residents, life is worse than hell. “The factories emit gases at night. They discharge effluents openly into the drain passing through our colony. Any complaint against them will only mean that we lose our jobs,” laments Saroj Panicker, a resident of Dombivli, whose father works in a chemicals factory.


Pollution score: 78.09/ 100

The nineth most populous city in India, Kanpur is located on the banks of the river Ganga and is an important industrial centre. The city is famous for its leather products and cotton wears. Unfortunately, because of the heavy industrialization, Kanpur is also famous for its pollution.

Kanpur went into decline after the 1960s; many industries shut down or left the city, and those that remained — like the tanneries — acquired a bad reputation because they were so polluting.


Pollution score: 77.45/ 100

Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu has a large number of industries incluing one industrial pocket -SIPCOT – which has secured it a place in the dubious club of global toxic hotspots owing to the area’s high levels of pollution. A report for the Tamil Nadu Pollution Board by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute found that residents of the SIPCOT area of Cuddalore were at least 2000 times more likely to contract cancer in their lifetimes due to their exposure to high levels of toxic gases from chemical industries in the region.


Pollution score: 77.44/ 100

This city in Maharashtra is surrounded with many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many renowned Indian and MNCs have established themselves in the Industrial Estates of Aurangabad including Videocon, Skoda Auto, Wockhardt, Siemens, Bajaj Auto, Goodyear etc. Many firms have their manufacturing bases in Aurangabad, in the sectors of automotive and auto components, pharmaceuticals and breweries, consumer durables, plastic processing, aluminium processing, agriculture and biotech.


Pollution score: 77.07/ 100

Faridabad’s residential and industrial areas are in the grip of severe air pollution. The air in the Delhi suburb is full of deadly elements like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide along with dust particles.

It is a major industrial city home to many units manufacturing tractors, motorcycles, switch gears, refrigerators, shoes and tyres. Numerous brick kilns located around Faridabad have emerged as one of the greatest air pollutants and use rubber tyres and other high polluting materials to bake mud bricks.

The result of the large scale environmental pollution is that public health has taken a severe beating. In many parts of Faridabad people suffer from diseases like asthma, cancer, skin problems etc.

19) AGRA

Pollution score: 76.48/ 100

The city of the Taj, has expanded rapidly without much planning, leading to residential and business areas that lack civic amenities. Diesel generators, diesel vehicles and numerous tanneries add to high levels of air pollution.

As it flows into Agra, the river Yamuna is hugely contaminated — because 80 percent of the city’s sewage flows into it. Choked drains and piled up garbage are common sights.